Sapias Your local cable company, telephone company or beer distributor has hundreds of vehicles roaming around the city, fixing problems, installing lines and delivering vital comestibles. But keeping track of all those vehicles is a nightmare. Do you wonder why you have to wait all afternoon for the cable guyand then he doesnt even show up on time? Its because fleet management is not easy. But with Sapias on-demand fleet management producta hosted servicethe central office can keep in constant contact with its metro fleet. Heres how it works:With business rules and alerts, this enables all sorts of interesting features. Imagine receiving a phone call when the cable guys a half hour awayor being able to track his estimated arrival time via the Web. Need to make an emergency call? The dispatcher can easily find out whos closestand who might have a bit of free time. The system lacks the ability to close the loop and set up schedules, though. A linear programming model that will provide best path fitting across an entire fleet is under development and is expected later this year. Still, "this is very sexy technology," according to Kertzmann. By applying rules for route efficiency, drivers end up making at least one more call a day. "It pays for itself in 90 days," he claimed. Next page: Five9 targets the call center.
Each vehicle gets outfitted with a GPS-enabled black box or a GPS-enabled phone. That device constantly updates the system with details on exactly where Waldo is, and how hes tracking against schedule.